BYLINE: Laura Burgoine
The Southbank Centre will be a star-studded Who’s Who of fashion with industry icons -including Vivienne Westwood, Donatella Versace, and popstar-turned-designer Victoria Beckham- descending on this year’s Vogue Festival.
Speaking to the Weekender ahead of his event with Yasmin Le Bon as part of the festival, American designer and fashion great Michael Kors reflects on his 30 year career, his first ever mention in Vogue, and edgy London style.
Do you find the fashion scene in London differs from American cities?
Trends today are a little more universal in nature, I think the internet has a lot to do with that and you tend to see similar trends in cities around the world. I would say London does have more of an edge to it, the women seem more open to taking risks. London, to me, is like this big mix of East End “hipsters”, Mayfair “grand dames” and fast-paced women on their way to work.
Which designers and styles epitomise American fashion for you?
Halston is probably the American designer that stands out to me the most –he really opened the door for sportswear in the fashion world. As for styles, you say sportswear and you automatically think separates –and I’m not just talking about jeans and a t-shirt. Sportswear can be glamourous.
I definitely think my designs fall into the category of what was once considered traditional American sportswear, but I also think fashion is becoming more and more global, and sportswear is becoming a way of life. A lot of my inspiration comes from cities like New York and Palm Beach and Miami, as well as American style icons like Jackie Kennedy so it’s only natural that my designs reflect that.
You’ll be speaking with model Yasmin Le Bon at the Vogue festival; how long have you known each other?
I’ve known Yasmin for years now. She walked in almost all of my shows in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. In fact, she even walked in one of my shows when she was a few months pregnant with Amber.
What has been your career highlight so far?
My first mention in Vogue in 1980 was surreal. Having Mary J Blige sing to me at our 30th anniversary party in Paris was amazing. And winning the CFDA Lifetime Achievement award also tops the list.
What are your top three items that everyone should have in their wardrobe?
A pair of white jeans, a black cashmere sweater and a pair of classic aviators.
Michael Kors and Yasmin Le Bon will host An American Dream as part of the Vogue Festival 2013 in association with Vertu at the Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX, on Saturday April 27 from 6pm. Admission: £40. Phone: 020 7960 4200 http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk